Friday, December 30, 2011

Endings and Beginnings

2011 is almost gone to assume its place in the history of the world. I tend to think of it now in terms of endings--the things that happened and that are done, gone, and hopefully not forgotten.

Today, for instance, I know people who are ending their careers--they are retiring after decades (yes decades, like four or five) of service to this country. On one hand, it seems like an ending.

But it is a beginning, too--a chance to start over and begin the next chapter of their lives. I am sorry to see them go, but I am excited for them and the opportunities that they face for the future.

I look back on the year and I recall some of the great events and moments that we will remember years into the future--like ending our involvement in Iraq, the end of Usama bin Laden, the Arab Spring which saw millions free themselves from tyranny, Libya and Gaddafi, the end of the US space shuttle program, the Japanese earthquake, the Maryland earthquake, and the world population exceeding 7 billion--just to recall a few.

There were deaths of many great people--famous with notoriety as well as not so famous and close and personal.

But there were also births--those clean slates of humanity ready, whether they want to or not, to lead us into the future in a few decades.

Endings followed by beginnings.

There was sadness--but there was also joy.

For my family, 2011 was a great year. We grew closer together, we celebrated, we traveled together, and we at times walked with each other in the face of some really serious and deadly diseases to provide each other support.

I found heroes in our family--those who stepped up to the challenge of cancer, or other disease on a daily basis and said to themselves--I am better than that and this is not going to beat me. I know--I take that approach every day with my NDPH.

Will 2012 be better? God alone knows.

But I know this--it will be full of endings and each ending will be accompanied by a beginning.

So good-bye 2011, your time has run its course. Hello 2012--what promise do you hold?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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